The Hollywood Theatre is saved, set to reopen as a space for events including cinema

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Since 2013, the once-beloved Hollywood Theatre at 3123 Broadway has sat empty.

      Now movie reels will soon spin again in the old theatre, which is one of Vancouver's very oldest, having first opened in 1935.

      Today (July 24), city council approved a plan to save the Hollywood.

      "The Hollywood Theatre has been a vital part of Vancouver’s arts and culture community for many decades,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said quoted in a media release. “We need to ensure that Vancouverites get to enjoy the beloved Hollywood Theatre for generations to come. Council continues to boost support for our growing arts community, to create and preserve important cultural spaces, and make sure Vancouver is a city where creative people can put down roots and contribute to our long-term success and vibrancy."

      That release notes the building in Kitsilano has received heritage status and that its redevelopment will have to adhere to specific guidelines.

      "As an incentive to the owner for the heritage designation, rehabilitation, and conservation of the theatre and for restricting it to theatre-use only, the agreement permits an increase in density and building height," it explains. "The owner has also agreed to enter into a Community Use Agreement (CUA) to allow for community and non-profit use and access to the theatre."

      The Hollywood Theatre's new operators, Sean Mawhinney and David Hawkes, have said they'll hold a variety of types of events there, including cinema.

      “The Hollywood Theatre project team is pleased that we all found common ground to re-open The Hollywood Theatre as a facility dedicated to presenting multiple genres of art, including cinema, live music, community-use events and more," they said together quoted in the same release. "The neighbours, local business, entertainment business professionals  and arts groups are all to be commended for their absolute passion for this project, which is why we are a go! We’d also like to acknowledge cultural services and our council for recognizing the importance of supporting multi-use cultural spaces for all Vancouverites to enjoy the arts.”

      Supporters of the old theatre have worked since 2013 to find a way to restore it to safe state and resume holding events there since at least as long ago as 2013.

      “I have never in any of my previous community activities encountered such a strong feeling of support as I have for our goal of saving the Hollywood Theatre for its heritage value, its historic value, and its community and cultural gathering space value,” Mel Lehan, a member of the Save the Hollywood Theatre coalition, told council in December of that year.

      Follow Travis Lupick on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.